Jurek Plantations, located in Clarence, has been around since the 1950’s. But, Co-Owner Steve Jurek is preparing for a Christmas season unlike any other.
“Safety and health is foremost on our mind,” he said.
COVID-19 is the reason why. It's also behind this year’s restrictions. Jurek said you’ll be required to wear a face covering at all times.
“Usually it’s cold so everyone wearing scarves and face coverings shouldn’t be a big deal,” he said.
Operations are slightly different, as well. Jurek said there won’t be any wagon rides this season. “We just can’t offer that service. It’s too hard to social distance or physical distance on a wagon.” But, he said they will still bag and load your tree onto your car.
Reservations aren’t required. However, Jurek is encouraging weekday visits when it’s typically less crowded. He’s offering free hot chocolate Monday through Thursday, and $7 off your purchase during the week as incentives.
A spokeswoman for Anthony's Christmas Trees in Lockport told 7 Eyewitness News it plans to offer all the same services. However, all workers will be wearing face coverings. Costumers will be asked to wear a face covering, too in common areas including where trees are bailed. It also asks families to practice social distancing in the field.
Things will be a little different at Russell’s Tree and Shrub Farm in East Amherst, as well. Garden Center Manager Chris Zeise said for the first time in 29 years, Santa won’t be visiting on the weekends.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have any kind of interaction. It’s unfortunate but we’re all going to get through this and Christmas time is going to be just like it was before.”
Zeise said they plan on selling the same amount of trees, but having less on hand inside the greenhouse to maximize social distancing.
“There’s more room for people to move around without interfering.”
Jurek has space on his side. The Clarence farm sits on 50 acres. Still, he said staff will also be wearing face coverings and they’ll have plenty of hand sanitizer around for anyone to use.
“People can still come out and enjoy a family Christmas, come out to an old fashioned setting, but still be safe.”